When I was young and something had upset me (maybe I wasn’t allowed to stay up late or was told off for sneaking midnight snacks into bed) rather than get emotional about the forbidden late night feast, I’d run to my sketch book and draw the whole scenario out. Having said that, I would also draw when I was super happy, at one point this took place along the length of our white garage and resulted in my dad having to clean it whilst I randomly carved a pencil from the bark of a tree (yes, I was weirdly creative, emphasis on the weird part).

Granted, I no longer face problems with being denied late night snacks (have you tried Pret’s Mango Chia Pots?! They make a regular appearance in these evening sessions). But as we get older, our problems evolve and become more complex. They say our brain power peaks once we turn 22 (and lasts half a decade) so my assumption is that the neocortex part of my brain (responsible for rational thinking) is currently at its best. That being said, do you ever feel as though the part of the brain responsible for emotions can sometimes take over? And when it does, there’s a disconnect and a bit of confusion on how to approach a tricky situation.

This is why I believe it’s important to have a hobby to turn to and at times I do enjoy this being centered around eating and gaming (and if that doesn’t count to some degree then I don’t know what the world is coming to) but to clear my mind, I find a creative outlet is more effective.  If I need help thinking of what it is I can do, I think about the different activities I would enjoy doing as a child. It should be something that I can spend hours on, never get bored of and end up feeling enlightened after. For me, the clear winner has always been drawing – leave me in a room with some Derwent’s and a sketch pad and I’ll be content and oddly quiet.

Now, by no means am I the best artist in the world…far from it really. But, if I avoided it because I wasn’t good enough or too embarrassed to share my work, then it would be such a shame to close the door on something that makes me happy. And as Salvador Dali once said, “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it”. (You’d be a fool not to listen to someone with a tache as great as his was). So, I just draw, and only slightly disconcerted if my proportions are a little off.

If you’re stuck for ideas on what hobby to take on, then maybe this quote from Austin Kleon can help inspire you:

“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.”

And for more inspiration watch his amazing talk on the TEDx channel here about his book ‘Steal Like An Artist’.


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